September 2015 – For a crude unit handling light tight oil feedstock, a semi-preflash column can deliver significant advantages in energy saving, capacity gain and revamp economics.
The basic function of a crude distillation unit is to provide the initial separation of crude oil feed into the desired fractions to feed downstream units. Now, newly introduced light tight oil feed processing may limit existing crude distillation unit capacity. The addition of a feed preflashing option may improve capacity and/or energy efficiency for light tight oil processing.
Two preflash options which are commonly implemented for crude distillation units are a preflash drum and a preflash column. Each has strengths and weaknesses.
This article discusses an improved semi-preflash column design that optimises the traditional preflash drum and preflash column options. A case study includes revamp economics for the arrangement.
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